WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- While the rest of his teammates were set to depart for Houston following Wednesday's Grapefruit League finale against the Marlins, Astros right-hander Collin McHugh will stay back a few more days and pitch a simulated game on Saturday.McHugh, who's working up his pitch count after
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- While the rest of his teammates were set to depart for Houston following Wednesday's Grapefruit League finale against the Marlins, Astros right-hander Collin McHugh will stay back a few more days and pitch a simulated game on Saturday.
McHugh, who's working up his pitch count after coming down with arm fatigue earlier in camp, will throw five innings or 75 pitches before going to Houston to take part in Monday's Opening Day festivities. He'll then make a Minor League rehab start at a spot yet to be determined. He will open the season on the 10-day disabled list.
"I hope that one more [start] down here and then one rehab start with one of the affiliates, then I should be ready to go," McHugh said. "If I really feel like I need another one to get a little bit more feel or keep building up pitches, we can make the adjustment as needed. I'm hoping the 10-day DL will be the end of the road here."
• Right-hander David Paulino, who will start the year on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his right elbow, will also stay back in West Palm Beach. He will start a throwing program in the next day or two, manager A.J. Hinch said. Paulino, the Astros' No. 3 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, made his big league debut last year.
• Right-handed relievers Jandel Gustave and James Hoyt, who are battling for the last spot in the bullpen and final slot on the 25-man roster, will both pitch for the final time Thursday in Houston. Hinch said Thursday's outing won't sway the decision and that both are deserving.
"I want them both to be mentally strong going into that," Hinch said. "I can't tell you the guy that pitches better [Thursday] is necessarily the guy that's going to make the team. The decision hasn't been made. We haven't met as a final group. We're going to do that [Thursday] pregame. That will tell you one of them gives up a homer, one of them punches out the side, the guy that gives up the homer might still make the team."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.